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  5. EI KVINNE not EN kvinne


EI KVINNE not EN kvinne

Hello to you all, I started learning Norwegian, but I am in two minds now, cause dulingo teaches me that word "kvinne" goes with the preposition EN, but it makes no sense to me.. Am I right??

June 2, 2015



As previously said, it can be either. You can basically choose whether or not you want to use the feminine gender. If you don't want to use it, you can consider all feminine-gendered words to be masculine and conjugate them accordingly. You just have to be consistent.


Actually you can use both,

Kvinne is a feminine gendered noun. All feminine gendered nouns can be considered masculine nouns as well.

So you can use 'Ei kvinne' or 'En kvinne'. Ei is feminine, En is masculine. Duolingo teaches it as a masculine as the contributors to the course felt this was the more natural option.

A tip from me is to always learn a noun and it's grammatical gender together, so you will never get confused again!

I hope I helped!


If someone uses "ei" or "en" usually depends on where they're from. I would never use "ei" as I'm fron Bergen, and most people here use "en".

Our Norwegian teachers in school don't correct us with ei/en, but we have to only use one. We can't use "ei" in some feminine words and "en" in other feminine words. I find it a lot easier to only use "en"!


My Norwegian teacher taught me that using feminine is becoming useless as time goes by and that youger generations barely use it nowadays. They mix the masculine and feminine words into a common gender where they only use "en" and the neutral gender is left as it is, like in Swedish. Is it how you feel as a native speaker?


Yeah, definitely. I was taught in school how to use feminine words (while learning to write nynorsk) but I've never really needed it. But you should be aware of the use of "ei" if you read Norwegian books, as they sometimes use it. But I would say it's not necessary to learn to use the feminine form.


Okay thanks. My teacher does indeed teach us the feminine form, for us to be aware that it still exists even if it not used a lot. I know he's from eastern Norway (I don't know where exactly), are there maybe geographical differences, where it is more common to use "ei" instead of "en" for feminine words?


It's not as prominent as you might think. The feminine gender is still very much alive in most dialects, but it going out of use in some of the bigger cities.


You won't be arrested, but it sounds very strange in Norwegian ears if you say "ei kvinne - kvinna". This is a very difficult area, but some nouns are normally used as feminins, while others normally are used as masculines and sometimes it does not matter.... Confused? To add to your confusion, usage will vary with age group and geography. Sometimes it depends on the context and how formal you want to sound. Kvinne is normally a more formal word than dame (meaning the same), and therefore the more conservative usage of "en kvinne" will be preferred. If you should go to Bergen, you will find yourself in the only place where there is no freedom to chose en/ei (en/a - definite form). No feminine form is allowed. Never. Not only for "kvinne".


it sounds very strange in eastern Norwegian ears if you say "ei kvinne - kvinna".


Although ironically Nynorsk (with compulsory feminine) is common in Bergen.


En is not a preposition.

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